Some coupons are in PDF (Portable Document Format), enabling customers to print coupons without special software being installed. However, there are several questions about these PDF coupons and their validity.
Read below for the answers!
Are these legitimate?
Many PDF coupons are indeed authentic. Always make sure that you are printing them from a reliable source, i.e. the manufacturer's own website or their Facebook page. This way you'll know the manufacturer has authorized this format for their customers. Companies that have provided PDF coupons in the past include Sunbelt, Lumene, and 3M/Scotch, among others.
Will my store accept them?
Many store scanners don't like reading PDF bar codes and will make an angry beep. At this point, the cashier will either push it through or will not accept the coupon, citing store policy that they cannot accept coupons that don't scan. You may even be accused of coupon fraud. So it really depends on the store. Before you print off a PDF coupon, make sure it's from the product's own website, and just print off one or two to try at your store. Sometimes the angry-beep hassle is just not worth it. You might want to try temporarily switching to a color print setting for a higher quality print and a better chance of your coupon being accepted.
Will the store get reimbursed?
If a manufacturer puts out a PDF coupon, they should be reimbursing the stores for all of them, since it was offered at their discretion. Do make sure to read the coupon's fine print and follow it, as some specifically state "one per customer per transaction/shopping trip." When in doubt, you can always contact the company with your questions via email, phone, or their Facebook page.
How many may I print off?
Manufacturers release coupons as advertisement and an incentive for a wide audience to try out their products. When a handful of consumers print off and redeem countless PDF coupons, manufacturers are more likely to reduce or cease using coupons. To counter this, we urge all Krazy Couponers to print PDF coupons responsibly. A good rule of thumb to follow is two per computer, like those with encoded printing software. Remember, it is ILLEGAL to copy any coupon.